It was not something I ever imagined doing.
Writing a book. Or becoming a mother.
And yet today I woke up to three very loud kids and a book that is launching out into the world.
It seems there’s never a day when it doesn’t surprise me.
You venture out into an ocean of vulnerability with only a small dinghy and two short oars to keep you afloat when you become a parent. It’s brave because we do it scared, tired, unqualified, and often ill-equipped. We mother on.
This book is for the new moms - desperate and exhausted and desperately wanting to fall in love with the baby that has taken over their lives, their alone time and their bodies. You are not failing. You will sleep again. You are not the only one who thinks she’s doing it all wrong.
This book is for the “my brain is more important than having your babies” women - we have that story in common. Motivated and brave and terrified at the same time of ever surrendering your self and your dreams to someone else’s agenda/opinions/schedule. It’s OK. You are beloved just the way you are. I’m convinced He would have loved me the same whether I ever had kids or not. It’s right there on the front dedication page of the book.
This book is for the motherless mothers – so many of us make the journey to motherhood without a mom. Whether she’s absent because she chose to leave or because she was emotionally unavailable or because she died like mine did, we all have to make sense of what that means for our own mothering.
This book is for the dog days of motherhood when you want your money back – for those hard days, those I-want-to-take-off-running-after-the-ice-cream-truck days, those I-must-be-out-of-my-mind-to-have-signed-up-for-this-insanity days. You’re right. It’s hard. It’s terribly hard. But it’s also holy and those hard days are growing you up into the best version of yourself you could never have predicted. I promise.
This book is for the husbands who wish they knew what their wife was thinking - this is what it looks like to be afraid and brave at the same time. This is how we ache for everything we used to be while at the same time being so in love with this new baby. This is how we are ashamed of our new bodies and need you take the lead in teaching us how to love them. This is everything we need you to know and don’t know how to say out loud.
This book is for the daughters who are trying to make sense of their mothers – who don’t know how to make the journey into womanhood without a guide and their guide is nervously tongue-tied. Or absent. Sweet one, you will discover you are braver than you know. And capable of courage and joy and a lifetime of discovering in your own kids how much you were always beloved by your heavenly Father.
This book is for those who may not have kids of their own but who mother on regardless – who pour themselves into the lives of their sisters, their neighbors, their colleagues, their community. Who mother with their words and their actions and their faithful friendship. Who lay down their own agendas and their time and speak life into so many.
This book is for the mothers of strong-willed kids – the kids we didn’t believe in till we gave birth to one, or adopted one and discovered all the sharp, broken bits and pieces of who we used to be. And how these wild and wonderful kids put us back together again in ways we don’t recognize.
This book is for the empty-nesters who already know the hard truth – that we. will. miss. this – the truth that seems impossible when we’re getting out of bed for the hundredth time, when it’s been years since we’ve had personal space, when we’re burned out and run down. This is for the women who remember those early days through the lens of a lifetime of wisdom that knows the sacred truth that all sacrifice gives birth to beauty.
This book is for you and for me and for our mothers and our daughters and yes, even our husbands.
You – all of you – you are so. much. braver. than. you. think.
Because you mother.
Where can I get the book in the States?
You can get it a bunch of places. In print and eBook. It makes me so terribly excited to be able to say that:
And if you want to hear it read in my own confused South African/ American accent – the audio book is also available:
Where can I get the book if I’m not in the States?
And I’m especially excited that for all my international friends – there are a bunch of places you can pick it up:
In Australia you can find it at Koorong.
In Canada, you can order from amazon.ca.
In New Zealand, Manna Books is the place to go.
In Northern Ireland, the best place to go is Faith Mission.
In South Africa, it will be at CUM stores and hopefully also at Leisure Books, CNA, Bargain Books, and others.
If you buy a copy and tag it #SurprisedbyMotherhood on Instagram it will show up over here.
And if you have a story about how motherhood or your own mother has surprised you – won’t you link it up with us over here.
Because motherhood is never graded. Motherhood is not a competition. Motherhood is a journey best done together.
Every step of the way.